Florida State came into the Advocare Invitational Final with a clear game plan. Do everything possible to get Villanova off the three-point line, pressure the ball, and utilize their size advantage.
They were largely successful in executing this game plan, forcing the Wildcats to find a different way to win. Villanova was ultimately able to cap off a successful bounce-back week with a victory by leaning on their returning core in Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Collin Gillespie and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree.
Neither side was able to run their half-court offense effectively throughout the afternoon. Florida State’s success came from points off of turnovers and offensive rebounds. Down the stretch they were aided by some timely three point plays off of Villanova fouls. On the other end, the Wildcats were held to 21.4% from three on only 14 attempts coming off a game where they had 40 attempts from deep against Oklahoma State.
One bright point for the Wildcats all game was the perimeter defense. They were cutting off lanes from the Florida State play makers and creating difficult shots. When the Seminoles did get into the lane and drew the defender, they elected to take quick shots for their big men to convert on the offensive glass.
Early in the second half, Florida State tried to draw the defense out by hitting a couple of quick three’s before going back to the original script. The defense remained stout, holding the Seminoles to 43% for the day despite the easy put-backs on offensive boards.
Collin Gillespie was delivering a steady dose of teardrop shots while also making some timely dishes when he was tasked with facilitating the offense.
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree was strong on both sides of the ball ending the day with 11 points on 5-5 shooting, and 8 rebounds (4 offensive). He was able to match the aggressiveness of the Florida State big men and seemed to be everywhere on the floor.
Eric Paschall and Phil Booth were able to deliver down the stretch when it mattered. Paschall was able to hit timely shots and saved the Wildcats from a couple mistakes in crunch time. Booth was attacking with the drive and made gritty plays throughout the game. The ball was in their hands in the final minutes and they were able to hit their free-throws to solidify the Nova victory.